Irish Lifeboats

The definitive guide to the Irish lifeboat service

Latest News

The latest news releases from the RNLI and CRBI 

Our goal is to bring you accurate and up-to-date news from the RNLI and CRBI. In addition, the website aims to inform you of events, functions etc. 

Our aim at is simple: To spread the word of the great work done by the RNLI and CRBI around the Irish Coastline. 

Get in touch with us if you have any queries or have something that you would like us to cover.

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Enniskillen RNLI rescues two people after a boat breaks free from jetty

Posted on June 14, 2018 at 8:00 PM

Enniskillen RNLI have rescued two people on Lower Lough Erne after their 42ft cruiser broke free from the jetty it was moored at during high winds.

Photo: Enniskillen RNLI

Belfast Coastguard requested the launch of the charity’s inshore lifeboat on Thursday morning (Thursday 14 June) at 6.42am. The volunteer crew proceeded north to Rossigh where they found the stricken vessel close to the shoreline south of Rossigh. With increasing winds through the night the vessel had broken free from its mooring and some of the jetty was still secured to the boat.

The winds were starting to settle but they were estimated to be a force 6 or 7 when launching from the Lough Erne Yacht Club.

The lifeboat managed to refloat the vessel and brought it into safer water. The hire company took charge of the cruiser with the lifeboat accompanying them to a sheltered location.

After the rescue Gary Jones, Enniskillen RNLIs Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘With challenging conditions this morning the crews training was put into action and brought the two people and vessel to safety’.

Early morning callout for Castletownbere RNLI to rescue yacht with five on board

Posted on June 14, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat were tasked on Wednesday morning (13 June) at 5.22am by the Valentia Coast Guard to go to the assistance of a 32 foot Belfast-registered yacht which had its propeller snagged in lobster pots near Dursey Island in County Cork.

Early morning callout for Castletownbere to yacht. Photo: RNLI/Castletownbere

The lifeboat Annette Hutton, under command of Coxswain Dave Fenton, was launched within minutes. Forty minutes later, the yacht, with five people on board, was located in a one-metre swell and Force 4 south-westerly winds near Dursey Island.

Lifeboat crew were able to successfully release the disabled yacht which is currently heading for Castletownbere. Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Paul Stevens, commented: ‘This was a straightforward rescue. The crew of the yacht were prudent to call the emergency services when they did. With worsening weather conditions later today, had they not made the call, the outcome could have been very different’.

Carrybridge RNLIs new Atlantic 85 lifeboat named Douglas, Euan & Kay Richards

Posted on June 11, 2018 at 6:25 AM

At a special naming ceremony and service of dedication held on Saturday (9 June), Carrybridge RNLI officially named its new Atlantic 85 class lifeboat, Douglas, Euan & Kay Richards, at the lifeboat station on Upper Lough Erne.

Carrybridge RNLI’s new Atlantic 85 lifeboat named Douglas, Euan & Kay Richards. Photo: RNLI/Nicholas Leach

The honour of handing over the lifeboat and officially naming her went to Dr Barbara Stewart who represented the donor, and to Kay, one of Dr Stewart’s three children who the lifeboat is named after.

The lifeboat which went on service last November was funded by The John and Elizabeth Allan Memorial Trust.

The inshore lifeboat which is now located at Carrybridge and which has launched 13 times since going on service, was officially named Douglas, Euan & Kay Richards.

During the naming ceremony, Christopher Brooke, member of the RNLI Council of Ireland, accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the charity, before handing her over into the care of Carrybridge Lifeboat Station. Sam McCreery, Station President, accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the crew.

Mr McCreery said the event was a proud day for the lifeboat station adding that the crew were most grateful to The John and Elizabeth Memorial Trust for the generous gift which had funded the lifeboat.

On accepting the new lifeboat, Mr McCreery acknowledged the service of the station’s outgoing Atlantic 75 class lifeboat Duckhams 2001, which while on service at Carrybridge RNLI launched 64 times and brought 113 people to safety.

‘While we’re sad to say farewell to Duckhams 2001, the Atlantic 75, which has served the station faithfully for two and a half years,’ he said, we look forward to writing a new chapter in the station’s history with the arrival of this new B class Atlantic lifeboat.’

Looking forward, Mr McCreery explained that the new lifeboat, an Atlantic 85, was the third generation B class lifeboat to be built, capable of speeds up to 35 knots. Fast, manoeuvrable, agile and versatile, it came with all the qualities of its predecessors but more.

He went on to explain how the lifeboat was ideally suited to rescues close to the shore and could withstand challenging conditions on inland waterways such as Lough Erne, making it an exemplary search and rescue craft.

The Atlantic 85, he told those gathered, had quicker response times, more space for casualty recovery and was able to carry an extra crew member.

‘The Atlantic 85,’ he said, ‘along with the Rescue Water Craft will be well suited to the waters of Upper Lough Erne because of the complex maize of islands which it will have to navigate using state of the art navigation equipment. Its range of cover from Belturbet to Enniskillen is a total of 26 miles.

‘This B class Atlantic 85 lifeboat means that we now have the latest and finest rescue equipment available. I know that when the crew head out on the water for training or on a shout, we’ll all have peace of mind that this lifeboat will help to keep them safe.’

The service of dedication that followed was led by Canon Mark Watson. The lifeboat was then officially named by Dr Barbara Stewart and her daughter Kay.

A crowd of well-wishers turned up to see the lifeboat officially named with a bottle of champagne poured over the side of the boat before it launched at the end of the ceremony.

Among the guests on the platform party were Tom Bailey, Carrybridge RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, who welcomed guests and opened proceedings, Dr Barbara Stewart, donor representative who handed the lifeboat into the care of the RNLI, Christopher Brooke, member of the RNLI Council of Ireland who accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI and handed it over into the care of Carrybridge Lifeboat Station, Sam McCreery, Station President who accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the crew, Canon Mark Watson, and Kay Richards who along with her mother Dr Barbara Stewart, formally named the lifeboat, and Archie Birrell, Chair of the Lough Erne Fundraising Group who delivered a vote of thanks and closed the ceremony.

Arklow RNLI rescues lone swimmer

Posted on June 11, 2018 at 6:00 AM

Following a pager alert at 10.22pm on Saturday (9 June), Arklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was launched following a report of a lone swimmer in difficulty and being carried out to sea.

Arklow lifeboat Ger Tigchelaar returns to harbour after rescuing lone swimmer. Photo: RNLI/Arklow

The report had come in via a concerned member of the public who had been out walking at North Quay. The member of the public had no phone and headed to the end of the North pier where some fishermen called 999 and alerted the Gardaí and the Coast Guard, who in turn tasked Arklow RNLI to launch.

Following the launch the lifeboat and her crew were underway and enroute to the casualty within minutes. Some fishermen and others on the quayside had maintained eye contact with the swimmer and were able to give the lifeboat volunteers assistance with location. In rapidly darkening but calm conditions the lifeboat crew located the casualty approximately a quarter mile south of Arklow harbour and using the Rescue A Frame were able to recover the now tiring swimmer.

Following the recovery, the swimmer was brought ashore at Arklow Lifeboat station and was handed over to the care of the waiting ambulance crew and Gardaí.

The swimmer was found to be in good spirts and was transferred home a short time later.

Following the incident, Mark Corcoran Community Safety Officer at Arklow RNLI said: ‘We would like to thank the member of the public and the fishermen who were out on North Quay last night, their early call for help allowed our volunteers to be able to make good time in getting to and recovering this casualty. We would like to encourage people to always remember to carry a means of calling for help and if they do spot anyone in the water who might be in difficulty to always call 999 or 112 and ask for Coast Guard.’

Further water safety information can be found at

Fenit RNLI respond to five call outs in a week

Posted on June 5, 2018 at 11:40 AM

Fenit RNLI lifeboat volunteer crew responded to a number of calls received from people experiencing difficulties while using the sea this week.

RNLI Trent Class Lifeboat. Photo: Pat Nolan

The callouts included assisting a person requiring medical assistance, a person getting into difficulty while swimming and assisting with a sailing vessel which was experiencing mechanical problems.

The all-weather lifeboat was launched twice near Ballydavid in West Kerry. The seafarer and vessel were brought to a local pier. The inshore lifeboat was used to attend to an incident involving a swimmer who got into difficulty at a local beach in Fenit.

In another call out this week a medical emergency arose close to another beach in Fenit. The Shannon Coast Guard also attended. Upon safe arrival back on shore an ambulance was waiting on Fenit Pier to give medical attention to the person.

Fenit RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Gerard O’Donnell said that the volunteer crew had experienced a busy week and were very pleased and relieved that all call outs had resulted in good outcomes. The good spell of weather had naturally increased the number of people using the beaches and surrounding coastline.

He added ‘Fenit RNLI encourages all sea users to be extra vigilant while using the sea’. Furthermore he added that ‘people should never be embarrassed or afraid to call the RNLI or Coast Guard if there is a concern that anyone is in danger at sea’.

If, at any time you see someone in trouble in the water or need assistance at sea, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.

Lough Derg RNLI launch to cruiser run aground south of Tullabeg with two people

Posted on June 4, 2018 at 4:20 AM

Lifeboat crew with Lough Derg RNLI had a Sunday (3 June) lunchtime callout over the bank holiday weekend to assist two people onboard a 27ft cruiser which had run aground at Tullabeg.

Lough Derg RNLI launch to cruiser run aground at Tullabeg. Photo: RNLI/Lough Derg


Conditions for the callout were calm with a force two and a westerly wind. Visibility was excellent. The lifeboat was on scene in minutes when the call came in at 12.15pm as the crew were already on exercise in the area.

After arriving on scene one lifeboat crewmember boarded the cruiser to check on the condition of the two crew and to make sure the vessel was intact and not taking on water. Once it was established that the two people were fine and there was no structural damage to the cruiser, the lifeboat crew then towed it out to deep water to allow the craft to continue on its way. The lifeboat waited a short time to ensure the cruiser was able to proceed safety before they returned to station.

Commenting on the callout, Lough Derg RNLI Helm Owen Cavanagh said, ‘With the good weather continuing there are a lot more people on the water. We would always advise to plan any water based activity well in advance and if out on a boat to make proper preparations for the trip, including taking the correct equipment and keeping a close eye on the surroundings.’

Lifeboat crew for the callout were Helm Owen Cavanagh and Barry Morkan and Joe O' Donoghue.

Wicklow RNLI assist fishermen with engine failure in poor visibility

Posted on June 4, 2018 at 4:05 AM

Wicklow RNLI have brought three fishermen to safety on Sunday afternoon (3 June) after their 13metre fishing vessel suffered engine failure off the Wicklow coast.

RNLB Annie Blaker launching to the stricken vessel. Photo: RNLI/Wicklow

The all-weather lifeboat Annie Blaker under the command of Coxswain Nick Keogh launched shortly before 11am and was alongside the stricken vessel fifty minutes later near Bray Head. Conditions on scene were described as sea state slight, with wind south-westerly force three, visibility was poor due to fog.

Two lifeboat crew members were transferred onto the fishing vessel to assist with establishing a towline and assess one of the fishermen, who was reported to have received an injury. The fisherman was found to have sustained an injury to his arm, he received first aid and casualty care from Carol Flahive and Alan Goucher as the vessel was towed back to Wicklow harbour.

The fishing vessel was brought safely alongside the South quay at 2pm and the injured fisherman was handed into the care of an ambulance crew.

The crew on the callout were Crew Coxswain Nick Keogh, Mechanic Brendan Copeland, Carol Flahive, Paul Sillery, Graham Fitzgerald and Alan Goucher.

Rosslare Harbour RNLI rescues two onboard 12m French yacht that runs aground

Posted on May 31, 2018 at 1:10 PM

Rosslare Harbour RNLI rescued a man and woman from a 12m French racing yacht which ran aground last night during the Normandy Channel Race.

Photo: RNLI/Rosslare Harbour

The yacht which had successfully rounded the Tuskar Rock and was making its way towards the Fastnet Rock, ran aground onto rocks off Carnesore Point while also getting its propeller tangled in lobster pots.


The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 10.46pm last night (Wednesday 29 May) and the lifeboat under Coxswain Eamonn O’Rourke made its way to the scene some five nautical miles from the station.


Weather conditions at the time were good with no wind and a flat calm sea.


Once on scene the lifeboat crew checked that the two onboard were safe and well before attempting to tow the vessel off the rocks. However, due to a lack of wind to sail and a low tide, the attempt in the shallow rocky area had to be abandoned until the early of hours this morning. The lifeboat crew decided to take the man and woman off the yacht and bring them back to shore in Rosslare where they arrived at the lifeboat station at 3am, for a short respite.


The lifeboat launched once again at 4.50am and once on scene, the lifeboat crew was able to launch the smaller inflatable Y class boat, to access the yacht which was on the rocks. The crew then managed to cut the tangled rope from the propeller before working to free the yacht from the rocks. The vessel was then able to proceed unaided on her return passage back to France.


Speaking following the call outs, Jamie Ryan, Rosslare Harbour RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘Unfortunately this was the end of the race for the crew onboard the racing yacht but we would like to wish them a safe passage home.


‘While the weather was good, the shallow rocky area where the vessel got into difficulty did make this call out initially challenging along with the fact that there was a low tide and no wind. Essentially it meant our volunteers had to launch the lifeboat twice, first late last night and once again in the early hours of this morning.


‘As we approach the summer, we would remind everyone planning a trip to sea to always respect the water. Check weather and tide times in advance and do routine checks on your vessel. Always wear a lifejacket and always carry a means of communication. Should you get into difficulty, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Larne RNLI called to assist crew of small motor boat with engine difficulties

Posted on May 31, 2018 at 12:55 PM

Larne RNLI launched their relief all-weather lifeboat Duke of Windsor last night (Wednesday 30 May) to assist three people on a small motor boat which had broken down somewhere between Muck Island and Brown’s Bay.

Photo: RNLI/Larne

Larne RNLI launched the relief all-weather lifeboat Duke of Windsor yesterday evening (Wednesday 30 May) to assist three people on a small motor boat which had broken down somewhere between Muck Island and Brown’s Bay. 

The lifeboat launched at 10.28pm after being requested by Belfast Coastguard to assist the vessel which was experiencing issues with their engine. 

Weather conditions were described as being a warm, pleasant evening, with no swell and calm seas. 

Once on scene, the volunteer crew observed that the crew of the motor boat had managed to resolve the problem themselves and the boat was operational again. The lifeboat crew offered to escort the vessel back to safety at Larne Harbour. 

Speaking after the call out, Frank Healy, Larne RNLI Coxswain said: ‘We are glad that the vessel knew to contacted the coastguard when they got into difficulty, this is always the right thing to do. We would rather launch to find a problem has been rectified when we get on scene, than not launch at all. If we can be of assistance to anyone, our volunteers are here to help. 

As we approach the summer season, we would remind everyone going to sea to always respect the water. Plan ahead and go prepared. Regularly check your vessel and engine and ensure you have enough fuel for your trip. Always wear a lifejacket and always carry a means of communication. Always let someone know where you are going and when you are expected back. Should you get into difficulty, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’

Arklow RNLI launch to assist motor cruiser caught in lobster pots

Posted on May 29, 2018 at 1:20 PM

Following a pager alert by the Irish Coast Guard at 3.20pm last Saturday (26 May) Arklow Lifeboat was launched to assist a motor cruiser which had become entangled in lobster pots.

Arklow RNLI assist motor cruiser entangled in lobster pots. Photo: RNLI/Brendan Dillon


Arklow lifeboat proceeded to the scene approximately one mile east of Mizen Head in moderate sea conditions. The 11-metre motor cruiser was located and an on-scene assessment was carried out by the lifeboat crew. It was decided to put a volunteer lifeboat crewmember aboard the stricken vessel to assist the onboard crew of two people who were also accompanied by their dog.


Efforts were made to release the entanglement and when this couldn’t be achieved a towline was established. The lifeboat crew towed the casualty vessel back, where the vessel and her crew were brought safely ashore at Arklow Marina.


Following the incident, Mark Corcoran, Arklow RNLI Community Safety Officer said, “Well done to the Skipper of this vessel for calling for help early, it’s a huge help to our crew when people act quickly. It helps ensure a successful outcome when we go to sea. We would always encourage people to carry a means of calling for help when they venture out on the water in any type of vessel.'